What NOT to do in Facebook Groups- AKA confessions of a group owner
I started the 60,000 strong Women’s Entrepreneur Network Facebook Group in May, 2015. It has been a lot of ups and downs, but there are always those moments when you wonder as a group owner what exactly people are thinking, so I’m going to share some of those here. If you’re thinking of using a group to market your business, or if you are thinking about building your own group, this might give you a few insights into my world.
- First off-I know- People love to promote themselves. There seems to be this misconception that you can just go from group to group, posting your crap, and somehow drum up business. If you post enough times a day, that you’ll somehow make some money. I have seen it going on for years. It really doesn’t work. These people are the reason we stopped allowing promotion on any day except Sunday in our group, and the reason why we’re considering not allowing any promotion whatsoever in the group. Yep. A lot of people spamming from group to group. Fortunately Zuckerberg has noticed these shenanigans, and has started putting these people into Facebook Jail, for leaving their posts all over groups like a bunch of droppings.
What do I wish you’d do instead? Interact, engage, comment on other people’s posts, and be a genuine person. Yes. *I* get to promote in the group- I started it, and I spend more hours than you can possibly imagine making it a lovely place, that you enjoy, and don’t have to pay for.
- No, I really won’t “just give you a few tips on a private call”. That would be a coaching call. While I love to connect with people and build relationships, I don’t enjoy when people just start asking me for “a few tips”, and get sulky when I’m not forthcoming. I give away a ton of free information in this blog, in Facebook lives, in free opt ins, in guest blogs, and I even do open Q&A sessions. Booking a call with me and asking for more is just plain rude. Please don’t get offended and pissy with me if I point you to my calendar and ask you to pay for a coaching session if what you really want is coaching.
- No. Facebook doesn’t pay me to run such an awesome group. I do it out of the goodness of my heart, and because I’m hoping that some of you will love me so much, and the free info I’m offering to actually take me up on a class, or coaching, or mastermind group. I.e. that you’ll buy my stuff, so that I can pay my bills, and keep doing this. Crazy stuff, right?
- Really, I don’t need to be added to yet another group. Please, please, please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t just add me to your Facebook group. I don’t care how lovely it is. Invite me, and I may decide to join, but I get added to HUNDREDS of groups every few months, and it takes me HOURS of time to get back out of them. I’ve taken to blocking off time to remove myself, and report those groups that I’ve been added to without my permission. It’s annoying, and offensive.
- Please don’t send me a Facebook friend request just so you can add me to your group, or spam me with your whatever it is you’re selling. I may decide that you need to be sold a new website, an etiquette course, or perhaps a load of toothpaste. I take any time you message me selling stuff without any solicitation, to be an opening for me to sell stuff to you too. (Really, you NEED my toothpaste!)
- If you steal my stuff, I’m going to find out about it, sooner or later. Ya’ll it’s a bit funny when people copy my stuff word for word, including the grammar mistakes, then try to pass it off as theirs. I mean, I know you want to be as cool as me, but you might want to run spell check, and grammar check on it if you steal it first. Just sayin’.
- I’m inventing a drinking game. Every time I have to delete a post that doesn’t comply with the guidelines that I have to delete, I get to take a drink. Oh wait, you might have to call an ambulance in the first five minutes. We delete over 95% of the posts to the group for being spam.
- People can be remarkably creative and slimy trying to get around the rules in our group. That’s fodder for another drinking game right there. I’m not sure what exactly they’re trying to prove by it, other than they outsmarted the poor admins, who are just trying to create a positive environment for everyone.
- Apparently fake profiles on Facebook are quite the thing. It’s amazing to see some of the “people” who try to get into the group. The ones with 0 friends, and 1400 groups, or who have weird pictures. My particular favorites are the ones with pornographic pictures. No really, I don’t need to see your crotch, and I’m really not impressed by the size of you either. Yes, I do report those to Facebook.
- Just because I like your post, does not mean I want to be solicited, spammed, and to be sold to. When I find those people I drop them from the group, because it’s deceptive.
- Answering everyone’s questions with a sales pitch isn’t cool. Just because you provide X,Y, Z service doesn’t mean that the person asking the question wanted to be sold it. I might be legitimately asking a question about Canva, or a bug in Canva, and don’t need to hear that I need to hire a graphic designer for that.
- I find it wildly amusing when someone starts a group, and says anyone can promote any time, because I know it’ll turn into a spam fest 24/7 in no time.
- Calling the group owner a Nazi is also a nice touch. I’ve been called all kinds of things for daring to run the group as I see fit. If you don’t like it- that’s OK- there are a bazillion other groups out there. Calling me names, and trolling me, is just going to get your account reported to Facebook.
Of course, if you want to know what TO do when you start a group and run it, or maybe just participate, then flip these comments around. 😉 Or you can read my article on how to create a killer Facebook Group.